28. Inconsistent Conduct

Chapter. 28. Inconsistent Conduct
Kural - 271
Who with deceitful mind in false way walks of covert sin,
The five-fold elements his frame compose, decide within.
Meaning : The five elements (of his body) will laugh within him at the feigned conduct of the deceitful minded man.
Kural - 272
What gain, though virtue's semblance high as heaven his fame exalt,
If heart dies down through sense of self-detected fault?
Meaning : What avails an appearance (of sanctity) high as heaven, if his mind suffers (the indulgence) of conscious sin.
Kural - 273
As if a steer should graze wrapped round with tiger's skin,
Is show of virtuous might when weakness lurks within.
Meaning : The assumed appearance of power, by a man who has no power (to restrain his senses and perform austerity), is like a cow feeding on grass covered with a tiger's skin.
Kural - 274
'Tis as a fowler, silly birds to snare, in thicket lurks.
When, clad in stern ascetic garb, one secret evil works.
Meaning : He who hides himself under the mask of an ascetic and commits sins, like a sportsman who conceals himself in the thicket to catch birds.
Kural - 275
'Our souls are free,' who say, yet practise evil secretly,
'What folly have we wrought!' by many shames o'er-whelmed, shall cry.
Meaning : The false conduct of those who say they have renounced all desire will one day bring them sorrows that will make them cry out, "Oh! what have we done, what have we done."
Kural - 276
In mind renouncing nought, in speech renouncing every tie,
Who guileful live,- no men are found than these of 'harder eye'.
Meaning : Amongst living men there are none so hard-hearted as those who without to saking (desire) in their heart, falsely take the appearance of those who have forsaken (it).
Kural - 277
Outward, they shine as 'kunri' berry's scarlet bright;
Inward, like tip of 'kunri' bead, as black as night.
Meaning : (The world) contains persons whose outside appears (as fair) as the (red) berry of the Abrus, but whose inside is as black as the nose of that berry.
Kural - 278
Many wash in hollowed waters, living lives of hidden shame;
Foul in heart, yet high upraised of men in virtuous fame.
Meaning : There are many men of masked conduct, who perform their ablutions, and (make a show) of greatness, while their mind is defiled (with guilt).
Kural - 279
Cruel is the arrow straight, the crooked lute is sweet,
Judge by their deeds the many forms of men you meet.
Meaning : As, in its use, the arrow is crooked, and the curved lute is straight, so by their deeds, (and not by their appearance) let (the uprightness or crookedness of) men be estimated.
Kural - 280
What's the worth of shaven head or tresses long,
If you shun what all the world condemns as wrong?
Meaning : There is no need of a shaven crown, nor of tangled hair, if a man abstain from those deeds which the wise have condemned.